Former Canucks coach Crawford says Bertuzzi acted in direct disobedience

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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Former Vancouver coach Marc Crawford claims that Todd Bertuzzi acted in "direct disobedience" to instructions from the Canucks bench during the March 8, 2004 NHL game in which he attacked Colorado forward Steve Moore, breaking his neck and ending his career, according to court documents.
Crawford, in documents filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, pleads that the Vancouver coaching staff was trying to get Bertuzzi off the ice before his infamous sucker punch on Moore.
"Just prior to the attack on Moore, Bertuzzi had been on a shift to kill a penalty, had missed the shift change and had remained on the ice for longer than the rest of his line," states Crawford's third-party defence.
"After being directed to get off the ice, Bertuzzi was on his way back to the bench when, suddenly and without warning, he turned around and skated back in the direction of Moore ... and attacked Moore.
"This was not done under any specific or general direction or encouragement from Crawford, was a direct disobedience of the instruction that Bertuzzi had been given from the bench to get off the ice, and was a violation of Bertuzzi's duties which Crawford could not be expected to have reasonably anticipated, let alone control."
Crawford filed his defence last month in response to a third-party claim by Bertuzzi that the coach should pay any damages that are awarded to Moore. Moore and his family previously filed a lawsuit seeking $38 million for loss of income and damages. Named as defendants were Bertuzzi, the Canucks and the company, Orca Bay, that owns the NHL franchise.

Organizations: Canucks, NHL, Ontario Superior Court

Geographic location: Vancouver, Colorado, Orca Bay

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